Tag Archives: nature

Video of the Week – August 29, 2020

Burned redwood trees at Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Northern California.  Despite the intense devastation, scientists say the trees – some of the largest and oldest living things on Earth – will recover and begin turning green within months.

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Photo of the Week – August 1, 2020

Since 2014, wildlife filmmaker and photographer Mithun H has searched for Saya, a black panther that’s been eluding his admirers in the Kabini Forest in India for years.  After camping out in the area for six days recently, the photographer captured an image of Saya, alongside his leopard companion, Cleopatra.

Mithun H notes that the couple has been together for four years and has an feline atypical relationship.  “Usually in the courting pairs generally it is the male who takes charge and moves around with the female following close behind.  But with this couple, it was definitely Cleo who was in charge while the panther followed,” he wrote on Instagram.

Mithun H has previously worked with National Geographic Wild on The Real Black Panther, which follows Saya’s life.

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Photo of the Week – July 25, 2020

This is just one of a large number of photos captured by New York City area residents on July 23 of a lightning bolt striking near the Statue of Liberty.

Just sort of humbles humanity back into its rightful place, doesn’t it?

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Photo of the Week – April 24, 2020

It looks like humans aren’t the only ones self-isolating.  Of course, most animals are solitary beings, especially when tending to their young.  But a cactus perch is the perfect natural defense.

For the first time in decades, an official with the Arizona Department of Game and Fish photographed an American bald eagle nesting on a saguaro cactus in central Arizona.  For years, bird nests have been seen and photographed atop a saguaro cactus.  But this is the first time since 1937 that such a sighting had been recorded.

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Tomás Sánchez – Landscapes of Isolation

“The interior spaces that I experience in meditation are converted into the landscapes of my paintings; the restlessness of my mind transformed into landfills.  When I paint, I experience meditative states; through meditation, I achieve a union with nature, and nature, in turn, leads me to meditation.”

– Tomás Sánchez

If one word can best describe the world we’re living in now, surrealism has no equal.  Seeing the empty roads and highways of the Dallas /Fort Worth-area that I’ve known my entire life is one of the most uncanny experiences I’ve ever had.  I’m still trying to comprehend this slow-motion cataclysm and all of the chaos around it.

Tomás Sánchez seems to understand the concept of a surrealistic existence.  His paintings truly exhibit that sense of isolation; something we introverts love, but that even we realize is not always perfect.  Yet, in those moments of solitude, titanic waterfalls and endless canopies of treetops often embrace (almost swallow) a tiny nondescript figure with its natural beauty.  The latter aspect is reminiscent of dramatic sunsets and massive ocean waves I’ve encountered; elements of the world that should render the most egocentric among us as humble.

Aislarse (Isolate)”, 2001

Orilla y cielo gris (Shore and gray sky)”, 1995

Autorretrato en tarde Rosa (Self-portrait in pink afternoon)”, 1994

Llegada del caminante a la laguna (Arrival of the walker to the lagoon)

Meditación y sonido de aguas (Meditation and sound of waters)”, 1993

Atardecer (Sunset)

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Retro Quote – Louisa May Alcott

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them but I can look up and see their beauty believe in them and try to follow where they lead.”

Louisa May Alcott

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On Wings and Light

Hummingbirds occupy that rare place where tenacity, beauty, grace and mysticism collaborate to create something extraordinary.  Australian photographer Christian Spencer has used his camera to capture all of that in a new manner.  A longtime resident of Brazil’s Itatiaia National Park for nearly two decades, Spencer has photographed many of the region’s natural wonders, including hummingbirds.  Recently, he discovered a unique way to combine his love for the birds with sunlight.  In a series entitled ‘Winged Prism’, Spencer photographed light filtered through the wings and tail of a black and white Jacobi hummingbird.  In a Photo Shoppe world, this is truly unique and breathtaking.

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Lightning Angel

This was a poem I wrote in July of 1986, when I was on a poetry kick.  My inspiration was – would you believe? – lightning in the night sky.  My father induced respect and admiration for lightning in me when I was little.  Like most small children, I was terrified of lightning and thunder.  But my father picked me up one night and carried me to a window.  He pulled open the drapes and yanked up the blinds – and told me not to be scared.  Lightning and thunder were just part of nature and nothing to be feared.  Respected, yes, but not feared.  They were born from the hands of the Great Creator.  From then on, I was never afraid of lightning or thunder again.

My father had acquired veneration for all of Earth’s natural forces from his own father who would open the drapes as a lightning storm rampaged overheard.  By contrast my grandmother was terrified and ran around the house clutching a rosary, lighting candles and ordering everyone to pray; that this is how the world will end: lightning, thunder, wind, rain – all at once and merciless.  Of course, that may be true.  But who are we to tell the Earth what to do with its tools?

My grandfather apparently displayed a sadistic streak, as his frazzled wife scampered from room to room.  “Yes,” he’d tell her.  “I just heard a report on the radio that a tornado is headed this way and sweeping up all women over age 40.”

 

Oh lightning angel.

Please smile at me.

Crackle in the caverns of that purple-black sky.

Glisten your rods of orange fire,

Whisper to me amidst vicious winds.

Please smile once more at me.

I hear your softened sensations,

And cower against your powerful heart.

Sweep my soul and steel my lungs.

Lightning angel.

Favorite of all our elements.

Looking at you from this shrinking Earth.

To your crystalline patterns.

Designs of your own creation.

Yes, lightning angel.

Gentle and sweet.

Yet you display your might.

Flashing over the silhouettes of quiet plants.

Cover my meager form on this deserted road.

Breathe your whiteness through the swollen clouds.

I reach out to you.

And wish you could take me,

Retreating back into this clouds.

But you’re alone,

In your own dimension,

In your own universe.

So I beg you please,

Just bless me with one last flare,

Before you melt,

Into that sky,

Oh lightning angel.

 

Image: Colt Forney Photography

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